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Topic: Post treatment fitness

Forum: Fitness and Getting Back in Shape — Conversations about exercise, diet, and getting back in shape after breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: Jan 3, 2019 09:12AM

Fritzmylove wrote:

I have one chemo treatment left, then BMX and hyster/ooph planned, then most likely radiation. I plan on getting back into a regular exercise routine once everything is complete, but I'm wondering if I'll need to seek a PT or trainer that will be able to teach me how to ease my body back into things. I exercised 5x a week before dx, but I did everything on my own. Now I'm wondering if I'll need professional help so I don't injure myself after surgeries and tx. What was your experience? Did your BS recommend anything specific?

CHEK2+ Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/1/2018 TAC Surgery 2/20/2019 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 3/4/2019 Femara (letrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 4/22/2019 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jan 3, 2019 10:26AM FarAwayToo wrote:

Hi Fritz, I am still working with an exercise physiologist that works as a PT. I see her once a week for an hour. She specializes in cancer patients, so she knows not only about physical aspects of recovery, but also understands our emotional state. In terms of mental health she helped me more than a therapist I saw several times throughout my treatment. My insurance covers up to 60 PT visits a year, but I have to go through re-certification process every 3 months with a different PT at the same center (only she has the power to say I still need PT). I'm having my next re-certification in two weeks, and I hope she can find reasons I still need to see my physiologist, because she is like a breath of fresh air to me.

I wasn't as good about exercising as you before DX, and I found her to be a huge help in getting and staying on track. This was especially important for the upper body strength, because things were (are still) tricky after BMX with expanders and under the pectoral implant. Are you planning reconstruction after your BMX? I wish I researched mine a little more. I'm still suffering from lack of strength in my chest due to the pectoral muscle being cut. It's a lot better than it was 9 months ago when I started my program with my PT, but I'm very far from being even remotely the same in the upper body/arm strength, and I wasn't a weight lifter or even a fitness fanatic. I'm finally to the point where I can close a heavy back gate of my SUV without wincing in pain, but I still can't swim without discomfort.

Oh, and my doctors didn't recommend anyone specifically, I found this lady by the recommendation from a naturopathic doctor I went to see once after finishing chemo and surgery. At the very minimum, I suggest having a PT lined up to help you with initial recovery from BMX and regaining your range of motion. I saw someone else 3 weeks post surgery, but my range of motion was pretty good even before then. It wasn't until 2 months post surgery that I found my darling PT and started an overall fitness program with her.

Also, not a bad idea to have someone knowledgeable about lymphedema in case you get it. I didn't, but had some cording. I saw a massage therapist at the same center, and she helped quite a bit. These specialists can help you pick out a sleeve. I have one just in case, even though I don't have LE. I take it with me on high elevation hikes (I live in Colorado, and in summer I hiked above 10,000 ft a few times, also routinely do hikes above 6,000 ft) and when I fly. Most of the time I forget to put it on, but I'm glad to have it with me. I only felt some sensations once, during a very strenuous hike at 11,000 ft, and that was when I left my sleeve at home. Luckily, no long term consequences, but I will be better prepared next time.

Dx 8/31/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/15/2017, DCIS, Left, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/29/2017 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 2/23/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Surgery 2/28/2018 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 2/28/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 4/5/2018 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 8/21/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Saline implant; Reconstruction (right): Saline implant
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Jan 3, 2019 10:40AM Fritzmylove wrote:

Thank you for all the great info!! I am still undecided as far as reconstruction goes. I honestly don't know what my options are yet. Because I'll most likely be doing radiation after surgery, I don't want that to mess up any kind of reconstruction I choose, so that may be postponed until I'm completely done with rads. I haven't talked to my BS about anything really. I'm supposed to schedule my BMX for sometime in February. I am worried about lymphedema. I'm hoping my BS won't have to take out too many nodes, but since I know at least 2 were positive pre-chemo, we'll see what happens when I have my final MRI, and she gets in there during surgery. Hopefully I'll be able to find a great PT that works with cancer patients.

CHEK2+ Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/1/2018 TAC Surgery 2/20/2019 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 3/4/2019 Femara (letrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 4/22/2019 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jan 3, 2019 11:15AM FarAwayToo wrote:

I don't know if it's possible with more extensive node surgery, should you need one, but with SLN biopsy and mastectomy, my surgeon didn't have to make a separate incision to reach the nodes, she went through the mastectomy incision. I believe not having a separate incision for the nodes helped in quick healing. Even with expanders, my recovery from BMX was relatively quick and smooth. Make sure to ask your surgeon about this option.

Dx 8/31/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/15/2017, DCIS, Left, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/29/2017 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 2/23/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Surgery 2/28/2018 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 2/28/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 4/5/2018 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 8/21/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Saline implant; Reconstruction (right): Saline implant
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Jan 3, 2019 12:16PM TwoHobbies wrote:

Ask your doctors if there are fitness related programs for cancer patients they are aware of in your area. Many hospitals have programs and I believe Livestrong still provides grants for programs with the YMCA. My local hospital has a program at their associated fitness center and it was free. The trainer was a BC survivor herself and had specialized training. There also was a local cancer support center that provided free yoga. I just googled it and was surprised to see how much was around.

I was given instructions on exercising related to the mastectomy and you can do it on your own if you follow instructions and go slow.

Round 1 -bmx, tug flap reconstruction, tamoxifen. Local Recurrence-excision, TCx4, radiation, Zoladex, Anastrazole. Dx 2/22/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/25/2013, <1cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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